Our building is open to current U of G students, faculty, and staff. Learn about library services during COVID-19.

Library Services During COVID-19

Updated Wednesday July 7, 2021 - 1:44 pm

To support U of G's efforts in protecting the health of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the library is only open to current U of G students, faculty, and staff. All our in-person services are available remotely. Please find information about the services and processes that are currently in place below.

Visit U of G's COVID-19 page to find the most up to date information about the University's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Library Space, Computers & Printing

  • Access to the building is restricted to current U of G students, staff and faculty.
  • Only the first and second floors are available for use.
  • Use your U of G ID card to enter the building; only one person will be allowed to enter at a time to allow for appropriate physical distancing.  
  • The accessible door off Winegard Walk is the only entry point into the library.
  • Building capacity for the two floors is capped at 259 people.
  • Food and drink (except water) are not permitted in the building.
  • Face masks are required in the library and physical distancing guidelines are in effect.

Library hours

  • Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Find more details about library hours.

Study space

  • Study space (tables, carrels, public computers) is available on a first-come first-serve basis, except for grad students who can book an assignable closed study (see below).

Bookable study space

Things to keep in mind: 

  • Supplies are provided for you to clean your spaces before and after use.
  • Seating configurations are fixed (please do not move the furniture).
  • Physical distancing guidelines must be followed (this means only one person per table, one person in the elevator at a time, etc.).
  • Face masks are required at all times in our building.

Access to computers 

  • Public computers are available for use on the second floor on a first-come first-served basis.  
  • There are three express computers available for printing located on the first floor.
  • You also have the option to access library computers remotely to use programs that you may not have on your personal computer.  

Printing and scanning

  • Printing and scanning are available in the library. We do not accept cash, credit, or debit onsite. You must load money onto your printing account online via Papercut.

IT Help Desk

Ask Us Desk, Curbside Pickup or Home Delivery of Books

  • Current U of G students, staff and faculty can request physical books from U of G and Omni partner libraries.

How to request library books

  • Place holds on books in Omni.
    • Once you have found the item you'd like to request in Omni, sign in and then click "Request."
    • Under "Pickup Location" select "McLaughlin Library", "Curbside Pickup" or "Home Delivery."
    • You will receive an email with further direction once the item has been processed. Please be patient as this email could take up to 3 business days.

How to receive your books

There are three ways to receive your library materials.

McLaughlin Library

  • When your items are ready, you will get an email. You can pickup the items at the Ask Us Desk when our building is open (Monday to Friday from 10 - 5). Please note, you need a valid U of G ID card to enter the building.

Curbside pickup

  • When your items are ready, you will get an email to book a curbside pickup time. Please wait until you receive this email before coming to the library.
  • Pick up your items from the McLaughlin Library loading dock accessed from the back of the building. Enter the laneway from Gordon Street. The loading dock is located past the Summerlee Science Complex receiving area. 
  • Please note, the loading dock does not have an accessible ramp. If you require assistance, when you arrive for your pickup call 519-824-4120 ext. 53437 and we will bring your items out to you.
  • We ask you to please wear a mask and respect physical distancing requirements.

Home delivery

  • When your items are ready, you will get an email to provide us with your mailing address.
  • We will pay the cost of shipping items to you. For those residing within Guelph, you will be responsible for returning the borrowed items. See Returning Books and Other Library Items below for more information.

Online Services and Resources

Research help

Workshops and programs

  • We will continue to offer all programs and workshops in an online format. 
  • Visit our Workshops & Events calendar to view what’s upcoming.

Online appointments

  • All appointments and consultations will continue to be offered online.
  • View all appointment types on our appointment booking page.  

Remote learning resources

Course Reserves

  • Check Ares Course Reserves System to see the electronic and physical reserve items available for your courses.
    • Course reserve materials will be available in online formats whenever possible.
  • Physical reserve items will be available to borrow on a first come, first served basis in the library.
    • Physical reserve items may be borrowed on a 1 day (24 hour) loan. These items are due back 24 hours after they are borrowed. 
    • Some reserve titles are available on a 3 day loan.
  • If you borrow a course reserve item, please return it to the Ask Us Desk, not the book return bins.
  • All returned items will be quarantined overnight. Check items in Ares to find out the date that they will be available for loan again.

Please note:

  • Face coverings are required, and physical distancing guidelines must be followed in the building.
  • You will use your U of G ID card to enter the building; only one person will be allowed to enter the building at a time to allow for appropriate physical distancing. Only one door will be accessible for entering the library – the accessible entrance off Winegard Walk.


Returning Books & Other Library Items

map showing access to the loading dock off of gordon streetThe book return bins can be found in two locations, the front doors or at the library's loading dock. Access to the loading dock is off of Gordon Street at the back of the library. Here is some more information:

  • You may return library books from the University of Guelph, University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, or interlibrary loan. 
  • The bins are accessible 24/7. 
  • Please note that the book return bin at the loading dock is not wheelchair accessible. Patrons who require assistance can contact library@uoguelph.ca
  • You can renew your books online


Email of Scanned Material

Scanning services are available to current U of G students, faculty and staff. 

General collections

In accordance with the University’s copyright guidelines, you may request that a portion of a physical item in our collection be digitized. Most physical items including books, microform, and journals are available to be digitized.

  • Search in Omni. Limit your search using the facets on the left-hand side to “Available in U of G Library” which will return physical items in our collection.
  • Select the item you’d like to be digitized and click “Sign in.” You’ll be prompted to enter your U of G credentials.
  • Under the “Get It” heading, you will see “Request a digitized chapter/article/excerpt” if the item is available for digitization.
  • Fill in the form with as much information as possible.
  • Once the item is processed, you will receive an email with a link to the digitized content. This may take a few business days.
  • The link will expire after five views or 30 days. 

Please note:

  • Scanning is not available for materials in the Course Reserve collection. 

Archival and special collections

  • Search the archival and special collections in Omni
  • Find the “U of G Location” on the left-hand menu and limit your search to “Archival & Special Collections.”
  • Request a reproduction from our collections.


Branch Research Data Centre (BRDC)

The Branch Research Data Centre (BRDC) is open at the library. To accommodate physical distancing, workstations will be reduced. New rules and procedures will ensure the safety of those conducting research in the space. 

There is a three-step process in order to gain access to the BRDC:

1. Researchers require permission to access campus for research

  • This permission must be consistent with the University’s Research Phase-In Framework
  • As a researcher, your chair and/or dean will give you a letter of permission.
  • The process and requirements for this vary by college. 

2. Permission from the BRDC 

  • After college permission is received, you will need the permission of Kris Inwood, academic director of the BRDC at U of G.
  • To receive permission, forward the letter received from the college to kinwood@uoguelph.ca and indicate why your work is a priority, if the letter itself doesn’t already state this.

Priority access will be given to:

  • COVID-19 related research
  • Graduate students
  • Early career researchers
  • Research subject to grants and contracts with time sensitive milestones
  • Research with very limited or intermittent needs in order to be completed

3. Making a reservation to use the BRDC

  • After you have the necessary permission, you can make a reservation to use the BRDC. 
  • You will be able to select a particular time using a new system that is being developed by Statistics Canada.  

Have questions about the BRDC? 

Email Kris Inwood, academic director, Branch Research Data Centre at U of G, kinwood@uoguelph.ca.


Annex (Offsite Storage Facility)

  • The library’s offsite storage facility, the Annex, is fulfilling all requests for library items.
  • The Annex is currently closed to all visitors at this time.


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